Report: Judge Joe Soliz Had Connection To UFC 247 Winner Trevin Giles

James Krause and Trevin Giles competed on the preliminary card of UFC 247, with Giles walking away with a split decision victory.

Judge Joe Soliz scored the bout in favor of Giles, but a report from Aaron Bronsteter of TSN states that Soliz had a connection to Elite MMA, which is the gym that Giles trains at. The connection between Soliz and Elite MMA is that Soliz trained at the gym in the 90’s while later being an instructor at the same gym. It should also be noted that both Soliz and Giles are friends on Facebook, it is unknown when they became Facebook buddies.

Soliz, while acknowledging a past relation with coach Eric Williams and Elite MMA, says they haven’t worked together in over eight years.

“I haven’t been in contact or associated with [Elite MMA] in over eight years,” Soliz told TSN.

Williams acknowledges that there is a past relationship with Soliz, but they haven’t spoken to each other in a few years.

“I’ve known Joe for years,” Williams said. “I haven’t talked to him in probably a year and a half or two years. The problem is it's kind of a small world, so you get people crossing paths and I think that you're going to have stuff like that happen. Whenever you can prevent it, I would. But again, I don't worry about it. If you finish the fight, you don't have to worry about those kinds of things. I really don't concern myself with it."

The judge and Elite MMA gym alumni was asked “do you have a direct or indirect financial interest in the management of a contestant, manager or sanctioning body?” before UFC 247 and Texas Combative Sports Program spokesperson Tela Mange says that Soliz answered “no.”

While Williams has acknowledged a past relationship with Soliz, one thing he thought was that everybody involved at UFC 247 also knew about it.

“I’m assuming they all know,” Williams said. “We’ve all been around for years. I would be highly surprised if the boxing commission doesn’t know.”

Jason House, who is Krause’s manager, says that an appeal is going to be filed to change to result of the fight at UFC 247.

“I was informed that one of the judges of the James Krause versus Trevin Giles bout had a close previous relationship with one of Giles’ coaches,” House wrote in a statement to TSN. “If true, this is deeply concerning. These athletes risk and sacrifice too much for there not to be a fair playing field. As we are currently in the appeals process, we are withholding further comment. It is our hope that the appeals process will work as designed and uphold the integrity of our sport.”

Krause, who is obviously not happy with the situation, would issue a lengthy statement on Instagram:


If this isn’t the most frustrating shit for me in the world I don’t know what... how is this not a conflict of interest? Training at someone’s gym for 10+ years and receiving a black belt from the coach corner my opponent. I no way am I mad I lost the fight, it was close. 1 was mine, 2 was his, and 3 was a toss up. But round 3 was given to me on 2/3 cards. It was round 1 they scored for him. After a take down and almost 4 minutes of back control, not to mention almost finishing the RNC, I don’t know how they would give that round to him. This sport has been around for too long to not start making changes. I know the Texas State Athletic Commission wont do a damn thing about my fight. They never do but I hope the @ufc, @danawhite, and the state commissions can come together to actually make the judging for OUR sport, not boxing and hold the people doing these jobs accountable. This is a disgrace to our sport. Not just my fight but multiple examples of incompetence from the same judge. So frustrated to even read this shit... and remember I lost half my purse because of this guy.

A post shared by James Krause (@thejameskrause) on

There has been no comment from Soliz at this time regarding the situation surrounding UFC 247 and it is also unknown at this time as to when Krause’s appeal is going to be heard.

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